Duncan Edwards

A prodigious talent cut down in his prime

Player Biography
Full name: Duncan Edwards
Date of birth: October 1, 1936
Date of death: February 21, 1958
Clubs played for: Manchester United
Matt Busby
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Matt Busby Duncan Edwards Duncan Edwards Duncan Edwards Duncan Edwards England Football Team 1955 Duncan Edwards England v Scotland Duncan Edwards Duncan Edwards Duncan Edwards Duncan Edwards Duncan Edwards Sir Matt Busby Manchester United Mark 50th Anniversary Of Munich Air Disaster
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Club Career

Manchester United stole Dudley-born Duncan Edwards from under the noses of the big West Midlands clubs and he progressed through the junior ranks at Old Trafford. He made his First Division debut in April 1953, aged just 16, and went on to notch more than 150 appearances for the club over the next five years, before his tragic death in the Munich air disaster in February 1958. He was just 21.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1953-58 Manchester United 151 20

International Career

Duncan Edwards played his first international against Scotland in April 1955, aged 18 years and 183 days, making him England's youngest debutant since the Second World War. It is widely accepted that he would have gone to be one of England's all-time greats.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1995-58 England 18 5

Key Games

England 7-2 Scotland (Home Internationals, April 2, 1955)

Even though he was still just 18 when he made his first appearance for his country, he was already being widely tipped to succeed Billy Wright as England captain. One reviewer said of his performance against Scotland: "Powerfully built, he showed strength and determination in defence and the ability to open up the game with long, accurate passes." Had he not perished so young, many experts feel he would have led his country to World Cup glory in 1966.

Manchester United 10-0 Anderlecht (European Cup preliminary round 2nd leg, September 26, 1956)

Manchester United became the first English club to take part in the European Cup when they entered the competition in 1956-57. Their first opponents, in the preliminary round, were Anderlecht, and, following a 2-0 away win in the first leg, United thrashed the Belgians 10-0 in the return at Old Trafford, with goals from Dennis Viollet (4), Tommy Taylor (3), Bill Whelan (2) and Johnny Berry. It was a result that made the whole of Europe sit up and take notice, and remains United's record victory.

Red Star Belgrade 3-3 Manchester United (European Cup quarter-final 2nd leg, February 5, 1958)

Tragically, this proved to be Duncan Edwards' last-ever match. He helped United to a 3-3 draw that earned them a 5-4 aggregate victory and booked their place in a second consecutive European Cup semi-final, but he, along with seven of his team-mates, died in the Munich air disaster after an unscheduled stop en route home.


Club Competition Year
Manchester United First Division Championship 1955-56, 1956-57

Did You Know...?

As well as being a schoolboy football star, Duncan Edwards was a highly talented morris dancer.

Duncan Edwards was already a full England international when he helped Manchester United win a third successive FA Youth Cup in 1955, beating West Brom 7-1 on aggregate.

Just like some of the stars of today, Duncan Edwards once fell foul of the law and was convicted of an offence on the road. He was stopped while riding his bicycle with no lights and was fined five shillings!

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From the back pages

Red Star 3-3 Manchester United (United won 5-4 on aggregate) Published: February 6, 1958

European Cup quarter-final 2nd leg match report

Soccer Air Tragedy Published: February 7, 1958

Munich disaster front page

'We Crashed On Third Take-Off' Published: February 7, 1958

Munich disaster news story

Blackest Day Of All Published: February 7, 1958

Munich disaster news story

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